$14,5bn tech city to rise in Kenya
TechCentral wraps up the major technology news from around the African continent. Compiled by Craig Wilson.
Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki will preside over a ceremony next week to break ground on a new US$14,5bn technology town called Konza City.
Konza City will consist of facilities meant to attract business process outsourcing ventures. The Kenyan government wants to attract international technology companies to invest in the facilities, which will consist of a convention centre, a science park, hotels and shopping centres spread across a 5 000 acre site 60km south of Nairobi, the East African country’s capital.
Information minister Samuel Poghisio this week appointed directors ahead of hiring a CEO and executive team. Investment banker John Ngumi, who was appointed by Kibaki in December, will chair the board.
Konza City promotional video:
The project is based on a private-public partnership financing model and will be carried out in four phases of five years each.
The first phase of the project has attracted 14 IT companies so far. The Kenyan government will provide infrastructure like roads and electricity for the project, while a developer will be tasked with building and selling premises to investors. Source: Business Daily
Vodacom may bid for Zambia licence
South African-headquartered mobile operator Vodacom is one of five companies that have expressed interest in bidding for Zambia’s fourth mobile licence, which will be granted in coming months. Zambian minister of communication, transport, works and supply Chris Yaluma says interested parties can still apply. Zambia’s telecommunication market is currently dominated by Airtel and MTN, which have more than 8,5m subscribers between them. Source: Telecompaper
Orange to bring Baidu to Africa
Android handsets in Orange’s African and Middle Eastern markets are to get a co-branded version of China’s Baidu mobile browser preinstalled. Orange, a subsidiary of France Telecom, has about 80m subscribers in the region. Though Baidu holds 80% of the search market in China, it has little reach beyond its homeland and is looking to change that. Baidu launched its own browser and mobile operating system last year. Orange, meanwhile, is said to be planning to expand into Algeria, Benin, Libya and Togo. Source: ZDNet